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A guardianship is a court order that places the property, finances, and wellbeing of one person into the hands of another entity, be it a person, association, or corporation. Most guardians are appointed for minor children, people who are judged to be mentally incompetent, or are physically unable to care for themselves. Sometimes a person can request to be a guardian of another; other times the court deems that a person can no longer capable of supporting themselves and appoints a guardian. In any case, a guardian is held obligated to provide for their ward, and becomes responsible for their support and safety in the eyes of the law.
There are several types of guardianships. While all must account for the actions of their wards, the level of responsibility is dictated by the overseeing court. Some of the more common types of guardianships include:
A “guardian of the estate” manages the property and financial assets of the ward for the ward’s best interests. These duties include managing the finances of the ward, protecting them from lawsuits, and ensuring transfer of the assets after guardian dismissal
An “interim guardian” is temporarily appointed after a guardian is removed or resigns if required for the welfare of the ward.
An “emergency guardian” is appointed by the court without a formal hearing when an emergency exists and a guardian is necessary to prevent injury to the person or estate of the ward.
A guardian is appointed by the court at the request of a mentally competent adult who is unable to manage certain aspects of their life. The petitioner specifies the powers requested on the Petition for Guardianship.
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